Late in the week I received word from Stephen Palmer that some copies of Deja Vu will be sold my local Waterstone’s. To be frank, a few copies in the science fiction section of a single bookshop will make little difference to sales, but my real intention is to get Deja Vu considered alongside other novels in the respectability stakes, and having a bookshop presence is an important part of that. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate Stephen’s efforts; he had to do jump over some paperwork hurdles to get even a couple of copies into this one shop.
For an author published by a small press (and remembering that this particular author intends to be in the game for the long run), it is probably best to view these things as a gentle introduction to the ways of the industry. It certainly doesn’t hurt to chat people on the frontline — i.e. bookshop staff — to get a feel for motivations behind who and what is published, and how much effort is put into pushing those books. I guess this is the ‘bottom up’ approach.